1984 -1986 Honda CB700SC Nighthawk S — Classic Honda Motorcycles

9 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1984 -1986 Honda CB700SC Nighthawk S — Classic Honda Motorcycles отключены
Honda ES 21

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Years  1984-1986

Claimed power: @ 9,500rpm

Top speed:  120mph

Engine type:  696cc cam, air-cooled inline four


Weight: 516lb

Price then:  $3,398

Price now:  $1,200-$2,500

Honda CB700SC Nighthawk S was introduced in the words of praise from the press were immediate in a surprise twist to the norm, Surprise: Custom now means hot rod, announced Cycle . The hot rod: Honda’s fiddle-free shop special, said . An American-style, shaft-drive sport-custom honors another American — hot rodding, quipped Cycle . If the motoring press was any judge, had struck a rich vein its new Nighthawk S.

Like any good hot rod, the S had a purposeful, aggressive look. was either two-tone black and or black and red, and just everything else on the bike — for the fake chromed velocity on the outside carbs and the polished of the cylinder head fins — was in elegant, menacing black. the tank, seat and side mimicked the angle of the engine’s fins, and combined with the fab little bikini fairing, the 700 up to a package that screamed go to riders looking for two-lane

Powering this visual was an air-cooled, inline four. visually similar to the engine the year before in the CB650, the 700 was all Designed as a 750 (both Canada and got a 750 version), for the U.S. market the was de-stroked 3.6mm to give a of 696cc, letting the Nighthawk S squeak under a newly tariff on imported bikes of and above.

Since it retained its 750cc bore it could breathe like a 750 through its head, giving the new bike at the rear wheel and performance on par and even exceeding other Cycle Guide recorded times of 12.048 seconds, the Nighthawk S ahead of Kawasaki’s (12.167 seconds) and only behind Suzuki’s GS750E seconds). It was only a fraction than Honda’s liquid-cooled V4 the VF750F Interceptor (11.963

Further making the Nighthawk S out was its unique mix of old- and new-school By 1984 (George Orwell, new-school was in. Liquid cooling, V4 anti-dive brakes, turbos, fuel injection and ignition — that gave a performance or edge was on the table.

Yet here was the 700 with a decidedly old-school, mill, yet incorporating the latest advances.

Thanks to hydraulic valve adjustment was a thing of the A driveshaft dispensed with any about adjusting or replacing ignition was electronic, an automatic kept the cam chain taut, and a automotive-style oil filter (a first for a inline four) meant oil changes. It also featured wheels front and rear, there was Honda’s second-generation (Torque Reactive Anti-dive helping keep the front end control.

But the motorcycle press the bike for more than its styling and specs. Cycle ’s 1984 review praised the for smoothness and lauded the chassis, the 700 steers lightly and precisely. down mountain roads, the responds immediately to steering Rider concurred, calling the a joy to jam up a winding ribbon of asphalt. It quicker than a GPz, faster than an ES and feels a lot cumbersome than an Interceptor on a road.

Cycle Guide  noted a for front-end chatter in bumpy yet said, In fast, smooth it’s virtually impossible to the S misbehave.

The bike’s 16-inch helped some, especially up where a small wheel quicker steering, but most of the cornering prowess was down to clever positioning of the drivetrain. to the CB650 Nighthawk (against it was often compared but shared no the CB700 carried its engine forward and lower, giving a center of gravity and allowing a swing arm, the latter canceling any driveshaft-induced frame as the rider twisted the throttle on and

Overall, complaints were non-existent. Mirrors were for getting fuzzy at high and for not sticking out far enough, and some were less than with the TRAC system, but the 700 seemed the perfect middleweight.

manager Bob Legault, owner of our bike, says he loves the neutral, almost upright position, which lets the tuck in or hang off as needed, the bike perfectly comfortable for or highway duty. I was raised on and enduro bikes, and it feels like that, Legault adding, It’s quick, and the part of it is big for me. It fits, and it feels

You get on that baby and wrench on it, and it’ll get up and go.

Legault snapped up his 1984 example when his found it for him two years ago, and for $1,000. Since then, put another 5,000 trouble-free on it, with maintenance limited to and oil changes.

So why didn’t the 700 last than three years? it on timing and technology. Sales-wise, the were bad years for the motorcycle After years of steady increases, the market went a sudden dive, leaving new collecting dust on showroom

Regardless of the CB700s technical it was an old-school oddity in a changing and Honda quietly dropped it the 1986 model year.

Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21

The news is there are plenty of out there. Endowed with Honda reliability, engines to last forever. Paint from exposure, of course, but the chrome seems to weather than much of Honda’s chrome from the same

Since the frame holds of the engine oil it’s good to away from examples ever hand-grenaded their ends, but otherwise these are bikes that sell and give excellent service.

Kawasaki GPz750

— 80hp @

— Air-cooled,  four-…, I-4, DOHC

— Five-speed

disc front, single rear


— 53 MPG (period

Despite the 42cc advantage the GPz over the Nighthawk (738cc vs. their performance numbers are identical. Maintenance is less on the Honda thanks to self-adjusting and cam chain, and of course the bike’s drive.

Of course, there are performance nuts who don’t in any drive that doesn’t a chain, so if you’re one of those, buy the If you’re not, buy whichever one is the deal when it comes to and condition. Although today the GPz does look a little dated than the Honda, it happily makes us think in a way the Nighthawk doesn’t.

For 1983 the GPz got a sharper fairing to update its — along with another 5hp — but another story for another

Yamaha XJ650RJ Seca

@ 9,000rpm/127mph

Though not the hot rod the Nighthawk the Yamaha XJ650RJ Seca was a respected, capable bike in its Though it’s down than 30hp (some claim output is actually to 70hp) when compared the 700 Nighthawk, it’s still a performer today and is visually similar to the ‘Hawk, though a bit softer all around.

The press praised its balance of and handling back in the day, and found it to be quite comfortable and as a tourer, considering it’s So what are you looking for? If a competent bike for running town and touring your backroads on the weekends, either will work.

But if you’re for something a little brash, a loud and a lot more powerful the “norm,” you’ll want a or GPz over the Seca. MC

Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21
Honda ES 21


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